Jay Alders Yoga

Why Yoga?

Jay Alders Yoga

Photo Credit: Jay Alders Yoga

 

Being an endurance athlete all of my life, I have never been good at “stopping to smell the roses.” I have struggled with disordered eating, perfectionist attitudes towards work and personal life, and obsessive compulsive anxiety for as long as I have been competitively running, swimming, and training. All of these things compile together and feed off of each other. After my last running race on May 2nd, I decided to take a break from anything organized and recalculate my goals and my mindset.

It was interesting to say the least. For the first time ever, I stopped to ask myself what I wanted to eat, what I wanted to do for exercise, and what did my body need to feel good? I was no longer restricted to eating certain foods or calories around my morning runs or attending so many days at the gym to meet my cross-training quota. The freedom of choice and opening up my mind to listening to my body, was truly enlightening.

The results of the last three weeks have been phenomenal:
1) I have not run once- for anyone that knows me THIS IS HUGE!
2) I’ve enjoyed long walks, long swims, pilates, and yoga/meditation
3) I’ve lost four pounds and feel healthier and more energetic than I’ve felt in years.
4) My cravings for “forbidden foods” have disappeared, because nothing is forbidden. If I want vegetables, I eat them, If I want cake, I eat it :)
5) My ability to calm myself with breathing and meditation, rather immediately respond to something with anxiety and stress is growing.
6) I’m learning to trust myself and my body to tell me what’s right.

 

So, Why yoga? Why the title of this post? I have found that even ten minutes of yoga a day has significantly impacted my mindfulness. I want to slow down and enjoy my food when I eat -appreciate the nourishment it’s giving my body. I want to enjoy my 60 minute walk, with the birds, the ocean, and the breeze; rather than pound my way through a high intensity run. I want to appreciate the rhythm to my breathing while swimming laps rather than forcing myself through the laps to hit a certain “mileage” goal. All of these things have been byproducts of my yoga journey.

I’ve also noticed that the yoga helps me from head to toe:
1) Helps align the bones and joints in my body
2) Help improve balance, coordination, and focus
3) Improved performance in Surfing and athletics through better rotation
4) Detoxification through increased twisting of organs and muscles to release free radicals and toxins stored in the body
5) Detoxification through deep breathing- higher oxygen levels abolish free radicals in the blood and body systems
6) Stress control- deep breath on reaction, rather than negative impulses. Deeper breathing decreases stress and cortisol levels
7) Time for spiritual meditation- learning to appreciate the time in the day, rather than constantly feeling like there is not enough of it.
8) Mindful- Becoming a better dieter through better eating habits, with more controlled decisions based on what my body wants and needs.
9) Muscle toning- Strengthening and Lengthening Galore ;)
10) Increases bone density- Yoga is weight bearing and gravity resistant, both things proven to help slow down the aging of your bones.
11) Prevents lower back pain and injuries- Your muscles stay supple from the increased oxygen and blood flow
12) Happy Hormones- Yoga releases serotonin and destroys cortisol, a good balance for a consistent happy, healthy life!

I challenge each of you to take ten minutes today to sit still and ask your body what it needs. Do you need to stretch? Do you need to say some positive affirmations?

Now tell me, what are some of your favorite exercises? Why do you love them?

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Nutty Buddy Lava Cake (4 Net Carbs per Serving!)

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This is the perfect Low Net Carb Dessert for those evenings you just can’t shake that chocolate craving. This warm, indulgent dessert will keep you coming back for more, but with only two servings per recipe, you won’t be tempted to erase all of your hard work on your health and fitness goals!

Some highlights of this dessert are:

  1.  ONLY ONE GRAM OF SUGAR IN ONE SERVING
  2.  All of the fats are healthy fats from chia, flax seeds, and roasted peanuts. This dessert is full of omega 3’s which help keep your heart healthy and calcium to assist in bone health.
  3.  16 grams of protein per serving!
  4.  Unsweetened cocoa powder is a great source of iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals help maintain energy, carry oxygen to red blood cells, metabolize antioxidants and nutrients, and aid in the production of new cells!

 

Now on to the good stuff ..

 

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Nutty Buddy Lava Cake
Serves 2

1/4 cup Vitafiber Syrup
2 Heaping Tablespoons Trader Joe’s Chia & Flax Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp. Melted Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
1 tsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 Scoop Optimum Nutrition Extreme Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
1/2 Scoop Optimum Nutrition French Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Tsp. Stevia

Start by adding the Vitafiber, peanut butter, and Smart Balance to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for two minutes.

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Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl.

IMG_4578Be careful taking the liquid mix out of the microwave, it will be hot!!

Combine the liquid mix into the dry mix and combine slowly. Take your time as you mix and stir it together well.

IMG_4581Eat immediately and ENJOY while warm :)

Nutty Buddy

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What I Ate Wednesday #4

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My day started off with a 50 Minute Spin class at 7:15 in the morning. I drank my amino acids and water during the class, then enjoyed an apple, carrots, monster and my homemade chocolate frosting :)

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Around 12, I was starving. I had a can of tuna with a honeycrisp apple. Honeycrisp apples are the best, hands down!

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Around 3, the carb rush hit me. I had a delicious frozen yogurt with some bran cereal, blueberries, and a confetti cupcake poptart. Yes, I am a child that still loves poptarts.

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For dinner around 6 I had half of a Morningstar Chickpea pizza and two pieces of a fresh whole grain baguette with tuna, provolone, and celery on top.

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What did you have today?

Feel free to link up your eats below!


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What I Ate Wednesday #3

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This WIAW is brought to you by the most epic surf so far this winter.  I’m going to take you through last Thursday’s eats with some Dawn patrol surf action. Literally, up before the sun.

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So my pre-surf meal was delicious home made coconut milk espresso with my favorite- Detour Simple Bar. The flavor is Salted Caramel Cookie Dough and it’s heaven. It tastes like such a guilty pleasure-but is packed with protein and healthy fats.

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We then went and surfed for three hours (!) by ourselves. It was amazing.

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So, soon to follow was a delicious breakfast of a Trader Joe’s British Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin muffin with a fried egg.

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We then became responsible adults again and went into the office. While I was there I got hungry again and made a delicious salad of cabbage, brussel sprouts, peppers, homemade chicken salad, and Bolthouse Farms Ranch- so good!

 

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Then we went home and had a caveman dinner. Seriously, skewered the steak and everything ;) It turned out delicious though, we created a rosemary reduction that we rubbed the steak with and then skewered it and broiled it. We served it over an avocado salad with tons of vegetables and used Cilantro Avocado Ranch from Bolthouse Farms.

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It was such a fun day and we ate like Kings! What did you end up eating for the day?

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Creamy Dreamy Egg Whites (Under 200 Calories!)

This is my go-to breakfast at the office lately. It’s so easy, packed with protein, and all I need in my office refrigerator is a carton of Egg Whites and a pack of Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss Light.

This recipe is so simple, it shouldn’t really be called a recipe ;)

Check out the Nutrition Facts at the bottom for more detailed macros, but I’ll give you the highlights: only 4 grams of Carbs and 30 g of Protein!

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Creamy Dreamy Egg Whites
Serves 1

1 Cup Egg Whites
2 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Triangles Or any Laughing Cow Light flavor

Pour the egg whites into a microwave-safe bowl. Roughly chop the two triangles into the egg whites. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir. Microwave again for one minute and Enjoy!

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Creamy Dreamy Egg Whites